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The economy can't guarantee a job. It can guarantee a liveable income for other work

By John Quiggin, Professor, School of Economics, The University of Queensland
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When the coronavirus pandemic hit Australia in March 2020, the Morrison government took bold and imaginative action.

The most notable examples were its income support programs – JobKeeper, paying a A$750 weekly subsidy to employers to keep workers on the payroll, and JobSeeker, which doubled unemployment benefits relative to the Newstart allowance, frozen in real terms for nearly 30 years.

These measures were announced as temporary. The government has already begun winding them back as the economy recovers from the worst impacts of the pandemic. On January 1 the JobSeeker…

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